Referring to our post on June 2, Prayer duly restored, the Ayatollah Coffey will now decide whether your religion deserves his stamp of approval, reader W takes issue with Dan Coffey’s insistence that only “legitimate” religions can offer invocations before council.
Looks like I need to bone up on my atheistic scripture … or find a Druid.
“Coffey disagreed, as he said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling assures that a church has to be deemed as a legitimate institution before it can push for inclusion in public prayer during a meeting.”
I’ve just read the Supreme Court ruling, including Parts II and II-B.
There is no mention in the ruling that a church must be “deemed as a legitimate institution” before it can be included in public prayer.
The US Government has no list of “legitimate religions.” There’s this document called the Constitution which specifically forbids a government list of “official” religions.
Councilman Coffey could be opening a huge can of worms for Council prayer if he insists on allowing only “officially recognized” religions. The only such US list that exists is the list of religious emblems of faith allowed on US Veteran headstones.
The list of religions “officially recognized” by a US government agency include Wicca, Eckanar, The Hammer of Thor, and yes, Atheist.